SCORE (Strengthening the Core) Fund for Innovation in Graduate Education

Proposals are due by November 15, 2019.

Strengthening SFU’s core (existing) graduate programs is crucial for enhancing our graduate education and we recognize that small amounts of financial resources can support the reflection and experimentation necessary to respond effectively to the changing environment of graduate education.

The goal of this initiative is to encourage faculty to scrutinize long-existing practices and test new approaches for graduate education in their academic units to address programmatic challenges. Academic units are invited to submit proposals for projects that identify a pressing programmatic challenge, a plan for addressing the issue and assessing its effectiveness, and a budget.

Types of projects could include:

  • improving communication between faculty advisors and students;
  • rethinking curricular requirements in light of knowledge change in the field and related fields;
  • teaching students to ask better questions, to take risks in their research, or to work collaboratively in new ways;
  • reconsidering the preparation for doctoral students who will embark on academic careers;
  • better preparing doctoral students for non-academic career paths;
  • experimenting with more extensive mentoring practices that include partners;
  • Re-thinking primary objectives and requirements for the master’s degree.
  • tracking career placements of previous students

Funds can be used for example to conduct a curriculum review, create new seminars or workshops, provide faculty development, host conferences that focus on cutting-edge practices in doctoral education, enable internships in the community, establish mentoring networks. Funds may also be used for departmental retreats, external consultants, site visits to other campuses, or graduate student project assistants.


To apply for SCORE funding, please submit the following in PDF format via email to the Dean of Graduate Studies to

Proposals should be a maximum of 3 pages. They should include:

  1. Name and department of the applicant(s).
  2. A brief project description answering the following questions:
    1. Which challenge will be the focus? Why is this timely and relevant for this discipline and department? What do you hope to achieve by the conclusion of the project?
    2. What plan of action is proposed? What do you intend to do? Recognizing that plans will evolve, what is the timeline for planning and implementation? Who is leading the project?
    3. How will you evaluate the success of your work?
  3. Outline and schedule of activities.
  4. Expected outcomes.
  5. A brief budget request. 

Projects will be awarded up to $5,000 but the usual support is expected to be about $2-3,000. Proposed budgets and scope of activities may be negotiated.

Proposals from academic units that received SCORE funding in 2018-19 will have a lower priority .

Awards will be made on a competitive basis by the Dean of Graduate  and Postdoctoral Studies as funds are limited. Proposal budgets and scope of activities may be negotiated. Projects must be completed by the end of August 2020. A final brief report will be required by the end of October 2020 and units may be asked to make a presentation to a SGSC meeting or to a Grad Chairs meeting.


* SCORE 2019-20 Call for Applications.pdf
SCORE call for proposals